THE Philippines will soon sign a labor agreement with Slovenia that will open up at least 2,000 job opportunities for Filipinos.

In a statement Monday, Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III said that Slovenia is open to an agreement with the Philippines for 2,000 to 5,000 skilled and semi-skilled workers.

“I told them that we first need to sign a bilateral agreement,” Mr. Bello said in a statement issued by the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE).

A technical working group (TWG) will be created to draft an agreement with Slovenia, which is expected to take three months.

Slovenia is expected to take in nurses, engineers, truck drivers, heavy machinery and equipment operators, and household service workers.

Average monthly pay in Slovenia starts at $1,000.

“The salaries are definitely higher than that of the Middle East. In Saudi Arabia it is around $400. In Slovenia, we are looking probably at around P50,000 to P75,000 or about $1,000 as long as we can come up with a bilateral agreement and we both agree with the provisions and the template contract,” Mr. Bello said. — Gillian M. Cortez